Rabu, 24 Mei 2017

GRASS ROOTS NEED FINANCIAL INCLUSION

 by Andi Abdussalam
          Jakarta, May 24 (Antara) -  Indonesia is now developing a financial inclusiveness program to provide its population with wide access to financial resources as part of its efforts to facilitate  the people's economic activities at the grass root level.
         Through this scheme, the government has set a target to cover 75 percent of the country's adult population with financial inclusiveness program by 2019.
         Presidential Regulation No. 82 Year of 2016 on National Financial Inclusion strategy set a target that by 2019 about 75 percent of the population should have access to formal financial services.
         Financial inclusion is defined as a condition when every citizen has access to various formal financial services on time; services that are smooth, safe, as well as affordable, and based on needs.
         To achieve the financial inclusiveness target, the government has prepared five supporting pillars, namely financial education, people's property right, inter-mediation facility and financial distribution channel, financial service in the government sector and consumer protection.
         A survey revealed that the formal financial inclusion level in a number of provinces in eastern Indonesia is relatively high.

Senin, 22 Mei 2017

INDONESIA SEEKS FAIRNESS IN TUNA CATCH

 by Andi Abdussalam
           Jakarta, May 23 (Antara) - Indonesia, one of the world's biggest tuna producers and exporters, is committed to utilizing its tuna resources in a sustainable manner, and the country is hoping fairness is applied while catching tuna at high seas.
         One of the high seas rich in tuna resources is the Indian Ocean where Indonesia has long stretches of adjacent coastal areas.
         However, among countries in the Indian Ocean Rim having the right to exploit tuna resources, Indonesia has received a smaller tuna catching quota.
         Hence, the Indonesian Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry (KKP) has questioned the fair principle applied in the allocation of quota for tuna fishing in the Indian Ocean.
         So far, the country, with long beaches in the ocean region, is actually getting a lesser quota. This fact was highlighted by KKP Minister Susi Pudjiastuti during the 21st Indian Ocean Tuna Commission meeting (IOTC) held in Sleman, Yogyakarta, on Monday (May 22).
         "Many small countries in the Indian Ocean waters also actually sell tuna fishing quotas to other countries," Pudjiastuti remarked.

Minggu, 21 Mei 2017

GOVERNMENT TO ORGANIZE FREE 'MUDIK' PROGRAM 2017

By Andi Abdussalam
          Jakarta, May 21 (Antara) - Millions of people conduct home-bound trip (mudik) to have family reunions in their hometowns during the post-fasting Eid ul-Fitr or Lebaran festivities every year.
         During the exodus of mudik  travelers, the number of traffic accidents is high befalling Lebaran revelers, notably those using vehicles prone to accidents such as motorcycles.
         Motorcycles is a simple and cost-efficient means of transportation which is why its number continues to increase every year during the Lebaran occasion.
          In line with the increasing number of motorists, the government in its efforts to reduce accidents has since in the past several years offered a free ride program for motorcyclists.
         In the face of this year's post-fasting Lebaran festivities, -- the fasting month  expected to begin next Saturday -- the government is once again offering a free mudik program to passengers, including motorcyclists.
         Transportation Ministry will organize the free ride transportation for about 208,435 passengers and 44,471 motorcycles through land and sea  transportation.

Sabtu, 20 Mei 2017

LOGISTICS DISTRIBUTION FOR FASTING MONTH MUST BE SMOOTH

 By Andi Abdussalam
         Jakarta, May 20 (Antara) - Public consumption of commodities, particularly basic necessities, during the fasting month of Ramadan is relatively high, and so distribution of logistics to meet the needs of the people must be smooth.
         Delays in goods deliveries will have an impact on logistics costs, thus driving up commodity prices. Prices in the face of next week's fasting month have been showing an upward trend.
         The Head of National Police's (Polri's) Food Task Force, Inspector General Setyo Wasisto, noted food prices were increasing outside Java, notably in Southeast Sulawesi, Central Sulawesi, Gorontalo and East Nusa Tenggara.
         Apart from those outside Java, the stability of prices should be maintained, especially in Jakarta and Java. One of the facilities which play an important role in logistics distribution is the Cikarang Dry Port (CDP) located in a strategic place and the largest manufacturing area in West Java and Indonesia.
         The CDP is a public dry port serving as the extension of Tanjung Priok Seaport, offering one stop service for cargo handling and logistics solution for international import and exports, as well as domestic distribution.

GOVERNMENT SUCCESSFULLY LOWERS GARLIC PRICES

 by Andi Abdussalam
          Jakarta, May 20 (Antara) - In the run-up to the fasting month of Ramadan that begins at the end of next week, the prices of commodities are now showing an upward trend, particularly outside Java.
         Among the commodities, the price of garlic has been rising, shooting up from about Rp30 thousand per kilogram (kg) to Rp50 thousand per kg. However, with the government conducting market operations, supplying some 58 thousand tons of imported garlic, and carrying out raids on hoarders, the price of the commodity was successfully lowered to about Rp25 thousand-Rp30 thousand per kg.
         "After we arrested three suspects for allegedly stocking up garlic, five hours later, the price of the commodity went down to Rp25 thousand per kg, or about 44 percent," Agriculture Minister Amran Sulaiman stated after launching a garlic market operation at the Pasar Osowilangun Market in Surabaya, East Java, on Friday.
         The government is doing its best to lower the prices of basic commodities in the face of the fasting month. It hopes that the price of garlic would be lowered to below the Rp30 thousand-per-kg level. While conducting the market operations, the government and large distributors agreed on three price levels. Garlic imported from India should be sold at between Rp10 thousand and Rp15 thousand per kg, while that imported from China to be sold at Rp23 thousand per kg.

Kamis, 18 Mei 2017

GOVT'S EFFORTS TO REDUCE LOGISTICS COSTS

 by Andi Abdussalam
          Jakarta, May 18 (Antara) - The Indonesian government is trying to reduce inefficiency at seaports, among others, by reducing the length of loading and unloading period, or dwelling time.
         Though it has successfully reduced the waiting time significantly from about 10 days in 2015 to three days now, yet logistics costs at ports are still high.
         "The dwelling time has decreased; but honestly, we acknowledge that logistics costs are still a problem that we are trying to resolve," Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said, Thursday (May 4).
         Hence, the government is proposing a single tariff system for multiple modes of transportation, while others suggest that port standardization should be set to cut logistics costs. The single tariff system will be good, if it is handled by the technical ministry, notably the Ministry of Transportation.
         According to Edy Putera Irawady, deputy for trade and industry coordination of the Office of the Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, the technical ministry is the appropriate agency to handle the single tariff system for multimode transportation.

Selasa, 16 Mei 2017

SMOKING PROBLEM MUST BE RESOLVED BY REACHING OUT TO CHILDREN

 by Andi Abdussalam
          Jakarta, May 16 (Antara) - Health Minister Nila Djuwita Moeloek said at the opening of the Fourth Indonesia Conference for Tobacco or Health (ICTOH), Monday, that the steady rise in the number of child smokers should not be left unresolved.
         The minister made the statement as the number of child smokers has reached an alarming level. She said more than one-third of the population, or 36.3 percent, are smokers. Some 20 percent are youth in the age group of 13 to 15 years.
         A youth community group, Smoke Free Agent (SFA), said 54 percent of Indonesian children were found to be smokers last year. It's a challenge to wean away children from smoking.
         Amid concerns over health hazards, cigarette industries are also intensively promoting their products/cigarettes. Children are the easiest target for the future market. If cigarette industries fail to get child patrons, they will collapse in the coming generation.
         This poses a huge challenge to overcoming the increasing trend of child smokers.
         Moreover, if the government banned cigarettes, it would have a significant impact on the life of about 5.8 million people, including 401,989 workers in formal cigarette industries, 2.9 million tobacco farmers, 1.5 million clove growers and one million cigarette retail traders.